Today, the European Disability Forum (EDF) was invited to participate in the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network High-level Panel roundtable on COVID-19 and disability. The online event had an impressive line-up of key players in the field of inclusive international cooperation. At the European level, it included Finland, Ireland, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.
H.E. Ms. Amina Mohamed, UN Deputy Secretary-General opened the event and gave a powerful message: “We must build a society that is just, inclusive, accessible and resilient for everyone. When we secure the rights of persons with disabilities, we invest in our common future”. She recalled the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, the launch in May of the Secretary General’s policy brief on the disability inclusive response to COVID-19 as well as a statement of endorsement by almost 150 Member States to the Secretary General’s recommendations. The European Union also supported this ”Joint Statement on the UN Secretary-General’s call for a Disability-inclusive response to COVID-19 – Towards a better future for all”.
The three co-chairs of the GLAD network, (e.g. the UK Department of International Development – DFID); the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the International Disability Alliance) took this opportunity to launch a new call for action “ to rebuild a future inclusive to all”. The co-chairs urged all actors to:
- Take into consideration the ten recommendations on disability-inclusive COVID-19 prevention and response developed by the International Disability Alliance and through close consultation with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations;
- Implement the UN Secretary General’s Policy Brief on “A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19”;
- Make information, prevention and intervention measures fully inclusive of and accessible to all persons with disabilities regardless of their gender, age, migration status or any other status;
- Collect and disaggregate data on COVID-19 by disability using the Washington Group short set of questions, as well as by gender, age, income, race, ethnicity, migratory status, geographic location, and other characteristics;
- Address the pandemic and the economic crisis in line with the “leave no one behind” overarching principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Governments, international and regional intergovernmental organisations, foundations, civil society organisations, private sectors and organisations of persons with disabilities are urged to endorse the call for action: https://gladnetwork.net/search/blog/call-rebuild-future-inclusive-all